Thesaurus

stern

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of stern

  1. 1 given to exacting standards of discipline and self-restraint the army post's stern commander always had the utmost respect of those who served under him Synonyms of stern austere, authoritarian, flinty, hard, harsh, heavy-handed, ramrod, rigid, rigorous, severe, strict, toughWords Related to stern demanding, exacting; uncharitable, unforgiving; adamant, adamantine, callous, hardened, hard-hearted, hard-line, immovable, implacable, inflexible, merciless, ossified, pitiless, relentless, rock-ribbed, stiff, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unsparing, unyielding; dour, gruff; ascetic (also ascetical), monastic, monkish; browbeating, bullying; determined, firm, resolved, single-minded, steadfast, unflinching; dogged, intractable, obstinate, relentlessNear Antonyms of stern easy, easygoing, laid-back, undemanding; charitable, kind, merciful, mild, patient, soft, softhearted; accepting, compromising, yielding; responsive, willing; acquiescent, agreeable, amenable, complaisant, compliant, flexible, pliable, pliantAntonyms of stern clement, forbearing, gentle, indulgent, lax, lenient, tolerant

  2. 2 harsh and threatening in manner or appearance a stern receptionist took our names without even looking up Synonyms of stern austere, dour, fierce, flinty, forbidding, gruff, intimidating, lowering (also louring), rough, rugged, severe, stark, steely, grim, ungentleWords Related to stern bleak, cold, hostile, inhospitable, inimical, unfriendly, unsympathetic; adamant, bound, determined, firm, intent, purposeful, resolute, resolved, steadfast, unflinching; fixed, hard, hardened, hardheaded, immovable, implacable, inflexible, ironhanded, mulish, obdurate, obstinate, rigid, self-willed, set, stiff, stubborn, unbending, uncompromising, unrelenting, unyielding, willful (or wilful); immutable, unchangeable; black, cheerless, dark, gloomy, glum, joyless, melancholic, moody, morose, sulky, sullen, surly; brooding, grave, humorless, melancholy, serious, sober, sobersided, solemn, somber (or sombre), staid, unsmiling, weightyNear Antonyms of stern bland, meek, mellow, soft, soothing; easy, quiet, tranquil; agreeable, bright, cheerful, inviting, pleasant, pleasing, sweet; glad, happy, lighthearted, merry, mirthful, sunny; featherbrained, flighty, frivolous, giddy, goofy, harebrained, light-headed, playful, scatterbrained, sillyAntonyms of stern benign, benignant, gentle, mild, nonintimidating, tender

Synonym Discussion of stern

severe, stern, austere, ascetic mean given to or marked by strict discipline and firm restraint. severe implies standards enforced without indulgence or laxity and may suggest harshness.
    • severe military discipline
stern stresses inflexibility and inexorability of temper or character.
    • stern arbiters of public morality
austere stresses absence of warmth, color, or feeling and may apply to rigorous restraint, simplicity, or self-denial.
    • living an austere life in the country
ascetic implies abstention from pleasure and comfort or self-indulgence as spiritual discipline.
    • the ascetic life of the monks


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